If you didn't know already, it's Halloween today. Taking place on 31st October every year, the tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. Over time, Halloween has evolved, bringing activities such as trick-or-treating, watching scary movies, fancy dress parties and carving pumpkins into the mix.
Well, if you're currently getting your pumpkins ready for this evening's trick-or-treaters and you're not too sure what to do with all the seeds, we're here to help. There are actually many things you can do with pumpkin seeds after hollowing out the actual pumpkin itself, and we guarantee you've probably not even considered half of these. Keep reading to find out what these are, and how you can dispose of less waste this Halloween.
Before you do, have you checked out our guide on how to set a spooky scene using smart lighting?
1. Give them to the wildlife
Pumpkin seeds, as well as the pumpkin flesh, is a nutritional and safe treat for birds and other wildlife, including deer, squirrels and hedgehogs. You can roast the seeds and put them out, or even keep it raw. In fact, they are such a tasty treat that you'll probably end up spending a lot of time trying to keep the wildlife out of your garden instead!
2. Make a DIY pumpkin face mask
Due to the nutrients and vitamins in pumpkin seeds, you can also enjoy the benefits on your skin. It's very simple - all you have to do is blend up your seeds with a nutritional base like honey or yoghurt. After that, you just slather it all over your face, being careful to avoid your eyes, and let the mask work its magic!
3. Dry them out and eat them yourself
Pumpkin seeds are a great addition to incorporate into your diet. Eating only a small amount of them can provide you with a substantial quantity of healthy fats and minerals. It's why they've been associated with several health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, prostate health and protection against certain cancers.
Pumpkin seeds also contain magnesium, an essential mineral that not only acts as a muscle relaxant, but also enhances the secretion of melatonin, helping to promote sleep.
They can be dried in the sun or in a warm oven for 3 to 4 hours. Stir them frequently to avoid scorching.
4. Put them in a smoothie
If you're not too keen on the idea of eating the seeds whole, why don't you whizz them up in a blender and make a smoothie? It's a great way to get all those extra nutrients and it'll taste great at the same time. Pumpkin seeds also have a nice nutty flavour that could work well with ingredients such as yoghurt and banana.
Have a look at this smoothie recipe if you want to know where to begin - you could easily swap out the peanut butter for a handful of pumpkin seeds!
5. Preserve them and grow your own pumpkin
Finally, you could set yourself a challenge for next year and simple grow your own pumpkin. All you have to do is soak the seeds in tap water to remove any pulp and then drain them before spreading them out on a tea towel and allowing them to dry fully.
Once they're dry (which should take about a day or two), add the seeds to a container and place it in the fridge. Then, after two weeks, you can then plant the seeds out in your garden, or even in pots in your home. Remember to pick somewhere sunny and don't forget about them!
Interested in more? Check out these 10 terrifying techie tricks and treats for Halloween!